Buddha Picture Placement For The Dying 阿弥陀佛像在临终者前的摆设

10 Reasons To Get Your Āmítuófó Picture Scroll

[1] Easy to put up, to serve as a home shrine image (and to keep when needed). Upon sight of it daily, all will be reminded to be mindful of the Buddha.

[2] Can be put up behind existing shrine images.

[3] Light, compact and easy to bring along to anywhere, including overseas.

[4] Very useful for bedrooms and hospital wards of the sick and dying, to offer a sense of spiritual direction, as a constant visual reminder to be mindful of the Buddha. When loved ones are very sick and weak, they might become groggy and confused due to medication (e.g. painkillers) side-effects. This is when having a well-positioned Buddha image to let them gaze upon by default when awake is very helpful, to remind them of their refuge in the Buddha. Otherwise, they might be distracted by looking around restlessly, entertaining stray thoughts and possible hallucinations. Even those who assume they are ‘good’ practitioners in everyday life might face such challenging conditions when dying. (Of course, there should be guidance and support-chanting offered too.)

[5] Image is universally pleasing and not ‘intrusive’ in nature.

[6] Image has a good size (40 by 90 cm), that is not too small or big.

[7] Image is majestic and well-defined.

[8] ‘Námó Āmítuófó’ in Chinese and pīnyīn on image creates pure affinity with all who read them.

[9] Useful as a part of everyone’s ‘Pure Land Last Aid Kit’.

[10] Useful for family members and friends sooner or later, even if one does not need it now.

Buddha Picture Placement In The Dying’s Room

If there are no curtain railings suitable for hanging, the above is a possible place, in front of the bed, even with a television ‘in the way’, to hang (or paste) a picture of Āmítuófó – in a hospital or hospice room of the dying, to help them have a visual reminder, to be mindful of the Buddha sincerely. This can be done at home too.

As it is common for the dying who are still somewhat alert to look around, this should be used to help them focus, to have a sense of refuge in Āmítuófó, and a sense of spiritual direction, to be born in his Pure Land.

Usually, to express respect, Buddha images are not placed where the feet (which represent dirtiness and lowliness) are pointing. However, as a skilful means for helping the dying, as long as respectfully placed and used, this can be an exception.

If there are no objects for hanging from, Buddha scrolls or pictures can simply be taped to a wall, as below.

If the dying person is mostly lying sideways, the picture should be at the corresponding side, perhaps on a wall or any other suitable structure. If the lying angle is such that the picture is difficult to be seen, it can be brought up close and even tilted accordingly, for the person to see, once in a while.

Another way is to simply show the Buddha picture at using a phone, as below. This has the advantage of being well lit. (Use image in link for better resolution.) A handheld or standing card placed nearby can also be used.

Related Article:

Amitābha Buddha’s Image’s Placement At Wakes

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

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